Bitter Gourd/ Karela/ Hagalakaayi Gojju

Haagalakaayi or bitter gourd is one of my favourite veggies! I really can’t get an apt translation for gojju, tamarind and jaggery paste  doesn’t do justice. 🙂 The haagalakaayi gojju that my mom makes must be the best in the world! I have tried to re-create the recipe here.


3 small bitter gourds

1 1/2 tablespoon rasam powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons tamarind paste

half a jaggery cube

4-5 curry leaves

2-3 green chillies

1 teaspoon mustard

1 tablespoon of roasted black sesame/till/yellu powder

salt to taste

1 tablespoon oil

Cut the bitter gourd into small pieces. Add salt and turmeric and keep aside for half an hour. This helps to bring out all the bitter juice from the gourd. In a kadai, heat  the oil, add mustard seeds. After they splutter, add green chillies, curry leaves and the gourd.

Saute the mixture till the gourd caramelizes or turns brown. This might take about 10-15 minutes. Once the gourd turns brown, the bitterness reduces. Add the rasam powder, tamarind and jaggery to the kadai. Add some water to adjust it to a sauce like consistency.

Add more salt after tasting. Turn down the heat and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sesame powder and mix well.

Enjoy yummy gojju with steaming hot rice and some peanut oil.


One comment on “Bitter Gourd/ Karela/ Hagalakaayi Gojju

  1. Radhika says:

    Haagalkai gojju is one of my favorites since childhood! So good to see your recipe here. Our recipe is very similar except for the Rasam powder I guess..

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